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Part of being a player for a basketball team or any sport is knowing how the game is played, what to do when, and having the proper equipment. Below are ten things a basketball player is essential to do before a game.
1. Know when and where the game is being played.
Do not wait until the last minute to find out where the game is being played. Talk to your coach at practice to ask for directions and times. Usually, a coach will hand out a game schedule ahead of time and confirm the games as they come up. Ultimately, it is still your responsibility as a player to know when and where the game is playing and how you will get there.
2. Get your uniform on.
I know this sounds like a natural step, but getting your uniform means making sure your uniform is clean. Put your uniform on at home; you will not have that much time to put it on at the court. If you have a warm-up jersey that goes over the top of your uniform, put that on at home, too, so you do not forget to take it.
3. Pack a bag for the game
Pack a small gym bag with your name marked on it, with game shoes, knee pads, support pads you may need like knee braces, a small towel, and a water bottle.
4. Get to the court one-half hour before your game time.
Most coaches want their players at the court one-half hour before game time, so they can go through the warm-ups and get last-minute instructions.
5. Report to the coach to let them know you are there.
When you arrive at the court, immediately report to the coach and let them know you are there. When coaches are making their line-ups, they need to know who is there. If you appear out of nowhere at game time, you may not get to play as much as you hoped because the coach did not put you in the lineup.
6. Change shoes, use the bathroom, and take off all jewelry.
Before the team warm-ups, make sure you take care of all the little details to avoid losing any game time. Change into your court shoes right away. Make sure you remove all jewelry and anything plastic or metal like hair clips. If you walk onto the playing court with any of that on, you will be told to get off the court by the ref.
7. Fill up your water bottle.
Have two if you drink more than one water bottle during the game. But make sure you fill your water bottle up before the game. Make sure your bottle is marked with your name on it.
8. Warm up on the court.
At practice, the coach usually will teach your team a warm-up you will go through before each game. If not, make sure you get out there and take some shots, dribble, and pass.
9. Mentally warm up.
When you step onto the court for warm-ups, you should already be in basketball mode. That means you put aside all your everyday stuff and concentrate on the game. Go over in your mind what you learned at practice about game strategies or new plays. Do not wait until the middle of the game to ask the coach how a particular space is run. Go over what you do not understand with the coach at practice or before warm-ups start. Remember that playing a game is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. You want to be prepared in both ways.
10. Listen to the coach for last-minute instructions.
After warm-ups, the coach will talk to you about the game strategies and starting. This is an important time for you to listen and focus on what is said. If you have a question about the coach’s instructions, ask. But do not ask the coach questions that do not pertain to that game.
By taking these ten steps before each game, you can be assured you are coming prepared and ready to go in when the coach yells your name from the bench. Good luck and remember, learn the game, play it, and have fun doing it!
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